Thursday, November 28, 2013

What's a bestseller to you?

How an author becomes a best seller. Now a days every author is.

For some reason, for as long as I can remember, I've always thought that being a best seller meant something. I had imagined being a bestseller meant your book was phenomenal and was knock your socks off amazing. That it was prestigious. That it was something that not everyone could get.

But now....

I've started to see that a lot of authors can claim that they are best selling authors. And really good for them! I mean it! But it seems (to me anyways) that being a bestseller has lost the impact. 

Recently I've even seen some authors who wrote a book that was really badly received by the blogging community saying that they were a bestseller. And seriously good for them. But the fact that not many people seemed to like the book and yet they were still bestsellers made me a bit curious. 

Wikipedia defines a best seller as "a book that is identified as extremely popular by its inclusion on lists of currently top selling or frequently borrowed titles that are based on publishing industry and book trade figures and library circulation statistics and then published by newspapers, magazines, or bookstore chains."

Hmmmm.... So does this mean I could write a book and hen have huge promotional sales selling off billions of copies (because it sounded so good) from a place such as Amazon. Then even after people figured out that it was complete crap and they all hated it, I would then blackmail a few people into including them on lists... Score! I am officially a best selling author!!! Even though I wrote a very bad book!!! (Clarification: I don't think that authors who are bestsellers really do that nor do I think that they have bad books. This is just an example of how I could be evil and manipulative to gain a title that should be reserved for the greatest!) 

But say I wrote a book that had "academic value" and/or "literary quality" then according to Wiki my chances of becoming a best seller are extremely low... Unless of course I bought billions of copies and made a house of them.... Then I might have a chance!

For several reasons this just bugs me! Why aren't the authors I that I think deserve credit getting on bestseller lists? Why are people who's books aren't that good best sellers?! 

I feel maybe standards have lowered or maybe something else.

Basically what I'm saying is, why is it there are so many bestselling authors? Authors that I've never heard of. Am I the only one that feels this way? 



  1. I completely agree! I feel like every book out there have the "Bestselling Author" on the cover, and I'm always just like "they can't all be bestselling authors!".
    And if it isn't the author of the book, who is the bestseller, then some bestselling author of some other book reviewed the book and "loved" it or something, which tricks people into buying it.
    I don't care whether it's a bestseller, I mean "#1 New York Times Bestselling Author: Alyson Noël"? Nope. The Immortals series was bad ...

    1. Right! All the time I pick up a book and then am like so the bestselling author of that book says this book is amazing... too bad I hated that book! Then I cackle evilly and put it back on the shelf! Lol! Everything is SO commercial now!
      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Very interesting topic, and I agree with what you said! I feel like nowadays, it's easier to become a bestselling author compared to previous years. I think the standards of becoming a bestselling author is low... Maybe publishers or whoever is in charge should 'up it up'?

    1. Right! I feel like standards have dropped so much! And it's just kind of sad! I wish publishers would try to up it just a bit!
      Thanks for dropping by!

  3. I'm not very savvy on the subject, but from working at a bookstore I know that when we enter in the New York Times bestsellers there is a huge list to pick from and we complete which of those hundreds and hundreds of titles we've sold in the past week. It's a grueling process, but I do think many of the 'bestselling' books are reported because they truly have sold a lot of copies. HOWEVER, I do agree with what you said. That 'bestselling' word has lost its impact. In the young adult sections alone, there are a lot of books on the list! And with so many people in the world, it doesn't take much to sell "a lot" of books, whatever that number is. Interesting topic, Calla!

    1. This is definitely so true! I do get that selling a lot of books gets you on the list but even then being a best seller on the NYT's list is different from being on an Amazon bestseller's list!
      The word really has lost so much of it's impact!
      Thanks for stopping by!


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